How your desk job is hurting your body!
Hey everyone! So, I randomly did some research the other day and wanted to share. I know in today’s day and age, having a desk job is quite popular, so I know there’s many that can benefit from this information.
The other day in a challenge group I’m running, someone had posted an article I decided to read, it was titled something like “reasons why your belly may look bigger than it is”. Cliche title, I know. But I decided to give it a read. Anyway, one of the things mentioned was tight hip flexors, most often caused by sitting for long periods of time. At this point, my focus wasn’t really on – read more about this so you can get a smaller belly – but rather, read more about this so you can learn about the effects your desk job is having on your body and how to correct it! So off I went to look into this tight hip flexor thing…
When you’re in a seated position, like at your desk job, your hip flexors will be in what’s called a flexed, tightened, or shortened position. Your hip flexors attach at the hips to the femur, the large top bone of your leg, and help to pull your leg up. At the same time in this position, your hamstrings, which are an antagonist muscle of your hip flexors, meaning that they work against each other, are therefor in an eccentric, or lengthened position. Lots of things happen to your body due to being in this position for long periods of time. Let’s break this down.
The changes in your posture are all linked together, sadly many of us with a desk job do not sit in perfect posture for the entire duration of our shifts.
Even if we did, we’re still susceptible since our bodies are made for moving, not sitting. Tight hip flexors are going to do a number of things to your posture, it will pull your pelvis forward and up, causing your belly to be pushed out a bit more, your quads to be pushed forward a bit more, putting more pressure on your knees due to the gravitational line adjustment, and it’ll also exaggerate the curve in your lumbar spine.
These adjustments alone will cause many issues in your everyday life. For those who are active, you’ll be more prone to injury. Exercises like running, squats, lunges and deadlifts all focus much attention on your hip flexors, hamstrings and your lower back. The misalignment is going to cause pain and injury to your flexors, you can experience more knee pain, IT band pain, lower back pain due to more emphasis and weight being put here as opposed to your now weak glutes and hams from being in a stretched position all day. This was a big eye opener to me, thinking back on the injuries and troubles I’ve had in the past. I also think back to some things which were difficult for me, such as laying leg lifts to work your abdominal muscles. This was really tough for me, and I thought nothing of it other than, I’m just not that flexible! I can only get my legs about halfway to the floor before my lower back was lifted off the ground. This is because of tight hip flexors not giving me the full range of motion. Another one I noticed is dong bridges, a double leg bridge isn’t too bad, but single leg bridges were horribly difficult to even get my hip in line with my knee, almost impossible, so there was one flat line.
Fortunately though, we can work on these things to help correct the damage being done to our bodies. I’m going to be incorporating yoga at least once a week, as so many of the moves are working your back, hams and flexors. I’ll also be stretching more throughout the day, and adding a few extra minutes of targeted stretching after my workout to help get the range of motion back to these muscles. I’m excited to have stumbled across this information so that I could inform myself of the harms and ways to help correct it!
Here’s a simple test you can do to test your hip flexor range of motion.
Here’s a few helpful links for those wanting to learn more!
Some great yoga moves to help you get back in action! – http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/anatomy/hip-flexors/
Some simple stretches you can do from home! – http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Hip-Flexor-Stretches
Keep fit and have fun!